New DeGolyer Library exhibit features rare Civil War photographs

Civil War anniversary

New DeGolyer Library exhibit features rare Civil War photographs

Pontoon Bridge over Rio Grande River at Brownsville.

Pontoon Bridge over Rio Grande River at Brownsville, ca. 1866, Louis de Planque (attributed) Robin Stanford Collection. View facing Levee Street in Brownsville during Federal occupation. African American soldier from 114th U.S. Colored Troops in the foreground.

A new exhibit at SMU’s DeGolyer Library features rare Civil War images of African American slave life, Southern battlefield scenes and camp life for Union and Confederate soldiers.

“The Civil War in Photographs: New Perspectives from the Robin Stanford Collection” (through March 15, 2013) represents the first time the more than 300 photographs and stereoscope views have been exhibited.

Robin Stanford of Houston has spent the last 40 years assembling the collection. Its strengths include pre-war and wartime Southern views by local photographers and views by northern photographers who documented Union-occupied areas of the South. Her collection also includes images of the daily life of soldiers at mealtime, playing cards and writing letters. Extremely rare Texas Civil War images also are included.

The highlights include:

  • Pre-war slave life with photographs of slave quarters, workshops and plantation life.
  • Images of a damaged Ft. Sumter, South Carolina, after Union troops surrendered and evacuated in 1861.
  • Battlegrounds and scenes rarely photographed, particularly in Southern locations such as Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.
  • African American soldiers and regiments.
  • Union soldiers in Brownsville, Texas, guarding the U.S. border.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Library hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

A 95-page catalog of the exhibit, The Civil War in Photographs: New Perspectives from the Robin Stanford Collection, is available for $20. The catalog was created by exhibit curator Anne Peterson.

For more information, visit the DeGolyer Library homepage or call 214-768-2253.

Written by Nancy George

> See more photos from the exhibit at SMU News

February 12, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

Remembering the Civil War on its 150th anniversary

Steven HahnTuesday, April 12, 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War with the first shots fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina. SMU’s Clements Department of History will observe the date on which the deadliest conflict in the nation’s history began with a Stanton Sharp Lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Steven Hahn.

Hahn will discuss “Why the Civil War Mattered” at 6:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

How might America have looked had there been no Civil War – or if the war had ended differently? Hahn’s lecture will revisit these issues by reminding us of the power of slaveholders and slavery in antebellum America.

“The legacy of the Civil War and its aftermath is still unfolding in this nation. Issues of race remain current and contentious,” says Sherry L. Smith, professor and acting chair of SMU’s Clements Department of History. “Understanding this war – what was at stake and what changed as a result of it – is critical in coming to terms with race in America.”

Hahn is the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor in American History at the University of Pennsylvania. His latest book, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South, from Slavery to the Great Migration (Harvard University Press, 2005), won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize in American History and the Merle Curti Prize in Social History of the Organization of American Historians.

He also is the author of the prize-winning book The Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850-1890 (Oxford University Press, 1983).

Written by Denise Gee

> Read more about SMU Civil War resources from SMU News
> Learn more about SMU’s Stanton Sharp Lecture Series online

April 12, 2011|Calendar Highlights, News|
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